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Teke Standing Male Figure Congo African Art

Regular Price: $245.00

Special Price: $185.00

Product #: 99159
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Title Teke Standing Male Figure Congo Africa
Type of Object Carved sculpture
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of the Congo
People Teke
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th Century
Dimensions 16.5 inches T. x 5.5 inches W.
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair scraped, chipped, and worn patina; see pictures for details.


Additional Information: A male standing figure from the Teke  people who are today located in the Kwango River basin but are also found in a swath across the three countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the People’s Republic of the Congo and into Gabon.


Teke  artistic activities are directed primarily to the carving of figures intended to have magical substances, known as Bonga, attached to them. Often called ‘fetishes’ in the West these powerful figures have different titles according to their purpose and who owns them. For example figures known as Matomba prevent and cure illnesses and other figures identified as nkira ntswo, represent ancestors and were used during a ritual to propitiate nature spirits. Figures are not considered complete or powerful until given energy through the application of the magical substances into the stomach cavity, or placed as a ball around the figure. Teke figures are magically 'switched on’ by the ngaa, the local ritual specialist after which they will be addressed and given offerings that through time add to the power that the figure contains. The facial scarification of vertical lines known as mabina are used by a number of the smaller subgroups such as the Mfinu or the Yanzi who share similar sculptural styles with the Teke. This figure male figure does not have  magical materials attached to it’s body , but it has been covered with the red powder which has also magical attributes.


Recommended Reading: A SURVEY OF ZAIRIAN ART-THE BRONSON COLLECTION by Cornet, See: C. Clarke, D. Binkley, B. Freyer and D. Newton. ‘A Personal


Journey Central African Art From the Lawrence Gussman Collection’. 2001